Until now, only there was only a blur sketch that wasn’t more than a blurry pike. This image is an actual rendering of the finished tower. According to Chicago’s Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, the designers of the tower, construction will begin imminently. The foundation plans are now complete and “the piling for the tower is currently being tendered” in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, near the Red Sea.
The Kingdom Tower’s numbers are impressive. It will cost a staggering $US1.2 billion to construct, “while the cost of the entire Kingdom City project is anticipated to be $US20 billion,” said AS+GG. The massive 1000m spire will house a 530,000sqm space and will beat the Burj by “at least 568 feet” (173m). It will have a Four Seasons hotel, a Four Seasons apartment area, office space, luxury condos and the world’s highest observatory.
There will be 59 elevators, 54 single-deck and five double-deck, along with 12 escalators. The elevators going up to the observatory deck will travel at 10m per second. That’s 36km/h. It will take you one minute and 40 seconds to reach the top of the tower.
There’s even an outdoor space at the top of the spire which will be used by the penthouse floor at level 157. You can see it sticking out in the rendering, 30m in diameter.
While it will still not reach Frank Lloyd Wright’s never-built dream of the Mile High Illinois, it hard-edged, sightly asymmetrical design reminds me more of Wright’s sketches than the rounded Burj Khalifa ever did.